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General Description
Policy Provisions
Performance Evaluation
Subject Experts
Changes to Curriculum, Courses and Academic Policy

Document Number: ACAD--178 Revision #: 2.0
Document Owner: Date Last Updated: 03/13/2016
Primary Author: VP for Academic Affairs Status: Approved
Date Originally Created: 05/02/2012

General Description

Information about course and curriculum changes relative to Academic Affairs policy.


Delineation of policy and procedure.


Academic Affairs, Faculty

Responsibility: Academic Affairs
Chairperson, Graduate Council
Chairperson, UCCCAP
Dean, Labry School of Science, Technology, and Business
Dean, Rudy School of Nursing and Health Professions
Dean, School of Humanities, Education, and the Arts
Deans' Council
Program Directors
VP for Academic Affairs

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Relevant Knowledge: In order to comply with this policy you should know:
Current University policy

Terms and Definitions: Additional training

Corrective Action

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Policy Provisions

General Information

Any course/curriculum change that occurs at Cumberland University is initiated and implemented solely for the purpose of providing a superior learning experience for our students.  Coursework and curriculum of the University are driven by the Faculty and approved by both the Faculty and the Administration.    


To facilitate the accomplishment of its academic function, the academic administrative organization of Cumberland University consists of Programs (majors) directed by qualified academic faculty, which are organized in Schools headed by a dean, which in turn are organized under the Office of Academic Affairs headed by the Vice President of Academic Affairs (VPAA).


Cumberland University recognizes the need for review, modification, or addition to current academic policies. The development, oversight, and monitoring of course and curriculum changes is the responsibility of the faculty, program directors, School deans, and the VPAA. To appropriately vet changes to courses, curricula, and academic policy, proposals must follow a process involving the entities above as well as three other committees, the function of which includes reviewing and approving such changes. These committees are the University Committee for Course Curriculum and Academic Policy (UCCCAP) for undergraduate proposals, the Graduate Council (GC) for graduate program proposals, and the Deans’ Council for all proposals.


Committees involved in Curriculum, Course, and Academic Policy change

UCCCAP and GC are parallel academic bodies, composed of university faculty, that review course and curriculum proposals. Communication between UCCCAP and GC is facilitated by the commonality of a member that serves as a liaison between these two academic bodies.


UCCCAP is the larger over-branching academic policy body of the University that concentrates on undergraduate course and curricular changes, as well as the academic policies and procedures of the University.


Graduate Council is an academic body that has the express purpose of reviewing course, curriculum and academic policies for graduate-level programs.


Deans’ Council is chaired by the VPAA and composed of academic deans and other administrative officers of the university.


These arrangements are appropriate to the primary mission of the university.



Process for approval of all proposals related to courses, curriculum, and academic policy

This document describes the process by which changes to university courses, curriculum and academic policy are proposed, vetted, and approved.


Changes in curriculum, courses, or academic policy should normally be initiated by full-time faculty within the School that houses the academic program(s) to be affected by the proposed change. All proposed curriculum changes must be presented on a “Curriculum Change Submission Form,” or an “Expedited Course/Curriculum change form” depending on the extent of change. Copies of these forms are kept in the UCCCAP folder of the shared university drive. All documentation requested on the forms should accompany the proposal at each level of review.


All course or curriculum changes proceed through four levels of review as below.


Steps in the change process are as follows, detailed below:

1. A curriculum, course, or academic policy revision is initiated by a faculty member in consultation with the program head and dean of the School that houses the program. The proposal is reviewed by the School faculty in which the changes are applicable.

2. If passed by the School faculty the proposal moves to one of two university-level curriculum committees for review.

1. A proposal affecting undergraduate courses or curriculum is sent to the University Committee for Course Curriculum and Academic Policy (UCCCAP) for review.

2. A proposal affecting graduate courses or curriculum is sent to the Graduate Council (GC) for review.

3. If passed by UCCCAP or GC, proposals are presented to the Deans’ Council. Proposals must be approved by a majority vote by the Deans’ Council.

4. If passed, proposals must be approved by the Vice President for Academic Affairs.


Note that at each level of review all other review bodies are notified of the decisions made to facilitate effective University communication by the Committee chair or designee.


Details of steps in the change process are as follows:

Step 1: proposal initiation and School-level review. With the Program Director and School Dean’s support, course/curriculum changes are presented by the proposal initiator to the full-time Faculty of the School for review. Approval requires support from a two-thirds majority of faculty present in a quorum.

Changes may be initiated by the VPAA, Registrar, or University President or other member of the administration who also holds academic rank or background.

If changes initiated by a member of the administration are related to general academic policy they are to be reviewed at each level above the School.

If changes initiated by a member of the administration are specific to academic programs, the proposal must be coordinated with the program head and dean, and approved by faculty in the School that houses the specific programs referenced in the proposal.


tep 2: Review by university committees. Any proposal approved at the School level by faculty will be forwarded to one of the two university curriculum committees, either UCCCAP or GC, for review. Both committees are composed primarily of University faculty members. The full proposal and accompanying documentation and School minutes documenting the Faculty’s approval must accompany the submission to UCCCAP or GC. After careful consideration of the impact on the University and the benefits to students, UCCCAP or GC will approve or reject the proposal with a simple majority vote. The final decision of either committee will be communicated directly to the School Dean, proposal initiator, and the chair of Dean’s Council by the committee chair. B

· y-laws for UCCCAP and GC should be kept on the shared university drive and govern all actions of these committees.


Step 3: Dean’s Council. The VPAA will present the proposal to Deans’ Council for review. When possible, the proposal initiator should attend the portion of the meeting during which discussion of the proposal is scheduled. Approval or rejection is determined with a simple majority vote of the Dean’s Council. The final decision of Dean’s Council will be communicated directly to the School Dean, proposal initiator, and the chair of either UCCCAP or GC by the chair of the Dean’s Council.

· By-laws for Deans’ Council should be kept on the shared university drive and govern all actions of the committee.


Step 4: Office of Academic Affairs. The final decision for implementation of a curriculum, course or academic policy change lies with the Vice President of Academic Affairs (VPAA). If the VPAA approves and signs a curriculum change, members of the Office of Academic Affairs are to communicate the change to all units involved in the implementation of the approved change.



Expedited Course/Curriculum change:

Under certain instances an expedited curriculum change process may be more appropriate to utilize than the four-level review process. This process is to be utilized only in situations where the proposed curriculum change does not change the nature, scope, mission, or relationship of the entity to the University Mission. Examples for which the use of this process are appropriate include minor wording revisions of a School’s and/or Program’s Mission, Goals, Learning Outcomes, and/or Objectives, as well as minor wording revisions of course descriptions. This process should not be used for changes in Missions, Goals, Learning Outcomes, Objectives, or Course descriptions that change the content/scope of the entity. Neither should it be used to introduce or delete courses or curriculum and/or to change credit hours for a course or program of study.


By submitting the Expedited Curriculum form to the chair of the UCCCAP committee, it is verified that the proposed curriculum/course change does not change the scope of the entity and has received majority approval within the governing School. If a proposal is deemed a significant change in scope or a conflict to the University Mission, it will be returned to the submitting School for Submission through the “regular” curriculum change proposal route of approval.


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Performance Evaluation
Performance Metrics: Compliance with standard policy and procedure

Consequences: Further training

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CU Curriculum Change Flow Chart
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Subject Experts
The following may be consulted for additional information.
Chair, Graduate Council

Chair, University Committee for Course, Curriculum, and Academic Policy

Dean of Humanities, Education and the Arts

Dean of Nursing and Health Professions

Dean of Science, Technology and Business

VP for Academic Affairs

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